KEARNEY – Chancellor Doug Kristensen has announced the appointment of longtime UNK staffer John Falconer as Senior Advisor to the Chancellor for Executive Affairs. In this position Falconer will provide counsel and assistance to the chancellor, serve on the administrative Cabinet and lead compliance and special projects. He will oversee all strategic, policy, operational, management, and comprehensive issues on the chancellor’s institutional agenda.
Falconer replaces Neal Schnoor, who is becoming Chief of Staff to the President at California State University, Long Beach.
“I valued Neal as a candid and informed advisor. UNK will miss him,” Kristensen said. “John brings a great background to the position. He has strong academic values and university-wide collaboration skills. I’m lucky that John is willing to take on these responsibilities.”
Falconer has served as director of the UNK Honors Program since 2013. He joined UNK in 1999 as director of sponsored programs. In both positions he generated and increased faculty and student interest in undergraduate student research, establishing UNK as a model for successfully engaging students in experiential learning and creative activity alongside and under the mentorship of faculty.
Falconer has published scholarly articles and chapters on undergraduate research, access to education, criminal justice and Honors Education. He has taught courses on American Government, Introduction to Research and Health Policy.
Falconer grew up in Kearney and earned bachelor’s degrees from UNK in political science and sociology. He went on to earn his master’s in foreign affairs at the University of Virginia, and worked in Washington, D.C., at the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation and the American Forests. He earned his Ph.D. in higher education administration, curriculum and instruction from UNL.
As the senior advisor to Chancellor Kristensen, Falconer will supervise the Office of Equity and Compliance, which interprets and ensures compliance with board and campus governance and policies. He will work with faculty bargaining agreements, processes and appeals, and coordinate communication with the chancellor among the vice chancellors, deans and heads of other units, and serves on university-wide committees. He will assist with or lead special planning, research and reporting projects to achieve university priorities.
Schnoor served in the position since 2012, arriving at UNK for a second time after being Dean of the School of Education and Counseling at Wayne State College. For 13 years prior he was a member of the faculty at UNK, where he held tenure in both the College of Education and College of Fine Arts and Humanities and served as Coordinator of K-12 and Secondary Education and Director of Bands.